This definition explains the meaning of Seed Starting Potting Mix and why it matters. Best Soil Mix For Cannabis Seeds and Starts Any recommendation for a brand of good proven potting soil for starting seeds. I’d prefer a light mixture and sterilized. There are two schools of Looking to make your own seed starting soil mix? We've got you covered! While there's loads of different info out there on what soil to use, let us help walk you through the differences, so you can make up your own mind!
Seed Starting Potting Mix
Seed starting potting mix is a loose type of grow medium designed to provide seeds and seedlings with the strongest start possible. Seed starting potting mixes are designed to foster healthy, strong roots from the very beginning, ensuring healthy growth throughout a plant’s life.
Note that there are many different types of formulations on the market, many of which contain similar blends of vitamins, nutrients, and synthetic fertilizers. Some seed starting mixes contain soil, but most are soilless, containing mainly peat moss, as well as coconut fibers. It’s also important to understand that you can make your own starting mix with organic compost if you would prefer to avoid chemical compounds.
Maximum Yield Explains Seed Starting Potting Mix
In general, seed starting potting mix is lightweight to ensure sprouting seeds can push their way to the surface of the medium. If it has come pre-mixed with a fertilizer (many of them don’t), the fertilizer is usually in very low concentrations because seeds don’t require much, if any, fertilization until they are transplanted into their permanent homes.
While a seed technically contains all the elements necessary for a plant to grow, there’s no secret to the fact that the right growing environment is needed to ensure health and strength. Commercially available seed starting mixes contain a unique mixture of vitamins, minerals and other elements needed to help ensure strong, robust plant growth.
Seed starting potting mix is available from most garden centers and big box stores. It can be purchased in bags ranging from just a couple of pounds to large packages ideal for maintaining a large garden. As an alternative to using loose seed starting potting mix, growers can start plants in plant plugs, or rockwool, oasis, or soil cubes.
Seed starting potting mix differs from conventional potting soil in many ways, and should not be used for planting mature plants. Plants should be transplanted into a different medium when they are mature enough for transplantation. The mixture contains a special formulation designed to enhance plant root growth and health, and can be used with flower seeds, vegetable seeds, and herb seeds.
Note that the term ‘seed starting potting mix’ is also a patented formula created by Miracle-Gro.
Best Soil Mix For Cannabis Seeds and Starts
Any recommendation for a brand of good proven potting soil for starting seeds. I’d prefer a light mixture and sterilized.
There are two schools of thought on soils for starting seeds. Sterile can help assure that the young plants get off to a good start without disease, fungus or pathogen. Unfortunately though, sterile is a condition that’s impossible to sustain. The other route is to start in soil that is rich with beneficial fungus and bacteria. The idea is that the beneficial organisms will colonize the soil and prevent any of the bad guys from getting a foothold. Additionally, nitrogen fixing microbes can be used to enhance soil fertility while safeguarding the soil against harmful bacterial growth.
I am not a microbiologist but the major players in this process are well understood and documented.
Common Bad Fungus: Verticillium, pythium
Bad Bacteria: Too numerous to list
Good Fungus: Trichoderma (invasive), Bacillus Subtilis (found in Serenade spray), bacillus thuringiensis, mycorrhizae fungus particularity Glomus intraradices
Good Bacteria: Some strains of Streptomyces, Azospirillum brasilense (nitrogen fixing)
A good soil is alive and teeming with biology both macro and micro. Healthy soil is hard to find in bags because it can takes years to cultivate. Compost tea is a great product for introducing beneficial soil microorganisms into our growing medium.
My answer to your question:
Pro-Mix HP, Pro-Mix HP +microbes, Happy Frog, Ocean Forest
Any premium potting soil that is available in your area and does not contain too much added fertilizer. Choose a soil that’s finely sifted and does not contain a lot of bark or shredded wood. Buy soils from a garden shop that stores their pallets indoors. Do not buy bagged soil that has been setting outdoors getting weathered.
These are normally used to starting clones but these soil alternatives also work great for germinating seeds.
If you seeds are very high value, meaning you don’t have many or they were very expensive germinate the seeds before planting. Cover your seeds in moist paper towel or similar medium and allow them just enough time to crack their shell. Remove and plant before the roots emerge and become too delicate to handle. Tap water or distilled water can be used. Microbial products can be added to the water to inoculate the seed, use as directed.
After seeds are germinated plant them into soil or growing medium using delicate gloved hands, chopsticks or tweezers.
If your seeds are plentiful and or you are starting a great number of them I like to use 50 cell divided planters or an appropriate number of 6-packs to fill a standard “no-hole” garden tray. Plant the seeds in the soil and keep warm and moist but not waterlogged.
Cannibals is a very special plant but does not require any special conditions or treatment to thrive, there is no “Right way” to grow it.
How To Make a Seed Starting Soil Mix
For those looking to start their seeds, you may find a lot of different information about the proper soil to start seeds in. Of course, we’ve all seen the over-priced seed starting mixes at our local garden stores, but are they really necessary?
It turns out, they aren’t! There’s actually very little difference in the soil you will use to start your seeds and the soil your plants will grow in until they are harvested.
Making a Seed Starting Soil Mix
By using the below base, amendments and minerals for your seed starting soil mix, you will be well on your way to harvesting a bountiful crop of fruits and veggies.
Remember, you don’t necessarily need a seed starting mix though, your seeds and plants can get by just fine with our gardening soil mix found here too.
- 10% Compost
- 45% Sphagnum Peat Moss
- 45% Aeration
These ingredients will make up the base of your soil. You will notice there are much more aeration and peat moss in a seed starting mix than a regular garden mix. Since your seeds do not have developed root systems yet, the more aerated and drained the soil is kept while your seeds germinate, the better.
With the above inputs in mind, for each cubic foot of soil you intend to make, you will want to add in the following measurements:
- 3.4 gallons of Sphagnum Peat Moss
- 3.4 gallons of Aeration
- 0.75 gallons of Compost
For this, you will add the same inputs as we do for the regular gardening soil mix. Every cubic foot of soil you mix up, you will want to use roughly a ¼ cup of each of the below inputs.
Now, we will use almost the same minerals as we would with a regular gardening mix. For every cubic foot of soil, you will want to use a ½ cup of each of the below minerals.
What if I want to sow directly into my garden plot?
As mentioned earlier, it’s not totally necessary to mix up a seed starting mix, especially if you intend to directly sow your seeds into your garden plot. In fact, some plants should be directly sowed for best results, such as carrots, onion, potatoes, and many other root vegetables.
For this, you will just want to be sure your plot isn’t deficient in any essential nutrients. To do so, there are a few options for you: